Art is a wonderful way to experience the world.
Beaver Hollow sign installed at North Pikes Creek Wetlands in the Upper Peninsula, MI, Photo by Kathy Wendling
It’s always gratifying to receive photos from clients.
Photos represent the culmination of a long creative process we’ve undertaken — together.
In many instances, it may be the first time the client has been part of the creative process involved in creating an interpretive sign or a series of signs.
At some point, a group of folks got together and decided it would be an excellent idea to have interpretive signs made for their favorite natural area. Often a grant has been written and awarded. Sometimes groups hold fundraisers to have interpretive signs created.
By the time I’m contacted, the group, or organization has invested a lot of time and energy into the project. There are pretty clear ideas of what stories should be told.
From that point, I lead the team through the creative process, creating just-right, unique signs that best tell the stories of their favorite place.
In the instance of North Pikes Creek Wetlands, located in the Upper Peninsula, MI, the group knew they wanted very few words on their sign. They also wanted the hand-drawn image to be loaded with as many critters and native plants shrubs and trees as I could fit in.
Reference photos of their critters were supplied. I put together a sloppy copy — I love making these super quick, raw sloppy sketches. I always assure my clients in the end they will get the high-quality illustration I’m known for.
Sloppy copy or concept sketch. By Lynda Wallis, Freelance Illustrations
The sloppy copy allows clients to make large changes to the separate elements, layout, placement, and overall composition of the work before I get into the final art.
Throughout the process of creating the final illustration, I often refer back to the energy and looseness of the first sloppy copy. There are often elements in the sloppy copy that I try to retain in the final work.
It can take a month or more to finalize a drawing — it all depends on the client’s deadline or how much work I have in-house when each individual project comes in. The back and forth is often. I never want a client to be confronted by any surprises when we reach the end of a project.
Wendling’s kind words sum up the goal of this project perfectly.
..."I watch people walking by it, and almost all of them stop and look at it for a while, and point out species on the sign. I would say it’s a hit, and it is doing what we intended. Thank you for all your work on this project! We really appreciate it." Kathy Wendling, Naturalist, North Pikes Creek Wetlands
Need interpretive signs?
Consider hiring me.